Shoulder Bursitis Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Shoulder Bursitis Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. Shoulder bursitis
can be a big dill… I mean deal. I’m gonna show you some stretches and exercises to hopefully
get you feeling better, so let’s go. Let’s start off with some simple shoulder circles.
Just take your shoulders and make a circular motion really stretching out the shoulder
and neck muscles. So do about 5 or 10 one way, and then reverse the circle and go the
other way. Really pulling up, down, back, forward. After you do those, then you’re gonna
do some shoulder squeezes. I like to use my elbows just to give myself a target pushing
backwards. But what you’re doing is imagine you’re taking those shoulder blades and squeezing
them together behind you. Just squeezing back, and then coming back in. Do about 5 or 10
of those. And then you’re gonna grab a cane, or a PVC pipe, something that you can use
to move you arm without you actually moving it. So the first one, you’re gonna set your
hand on the bar, this is the movement that you’re gonna make, this is just going along
for the ride. So you’re just brining it up to stretch and then slowly come back down.
After you do about 5 or 10 of those, then you’re gonna do an external rotation. You
want to keep you elbow close to your side. It’s gonna stay by your side the whole time,
you don’t want it coming out. Grab on to the bar, and you’re gonna push this way, taking
your arm out to the side, but make sure, see how my elbow’s staying nice and close to my
side, it’s not going out like that, I’m rotating it outwards. So after you get that nice an
loosened up, then you’re gonna do a scaption motion. Scaption is basically not out here,
not in front, but right at an angle, about a 45 degree angle in between. Thumbs are gonna
be up, and you’re just gonna bring your arms up to a stretch and then slowly come back
down. You don’t want to push through pain with this, you wanna just go to your feeling
a little bit of pain, but not a lot of pain. Cause with that shoulder bursitis, it can
definitely get flared up if you push through it. And then, take a band start off wit ha
light one, maybe like a yellow or a green. Your gonna do a resistive external rotation
now. So keep both elbows by your side. Keep your thumbs up, try and keep your wrists in
a neutral position, and pull out. But remember, you don’t want your elbows coming out, keep
them nice and close to your side. Come out, and then slowly control it back in. There
you have it. Those are your shoulder bursitis stretches and exercises. If you have any questions,
leave them in the comments section. If you’d like to check out some other videos, go to Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. And remember, be
safe, have fun (or a dill pickle every once and a while), and I hope you feel better soon.

Daniel Yohans

76 thoughts on “Shoulder Bursitis Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

  1. Andrew Strang says:


  2. Andrew Strang says:

    Oh yeah thanks for jaw exercise I healed after 3 days of doing it thanks for your help

  3. Sofia Sousa Pires says:

    +AskDoctorJo Big dill😂

  4. Andrew Strang says:

    so far best youtuber

  5. Donald Osborne says:

    Wow, so cool

  6. Nasir Mohamed says:

    Thank you so much!

  7. JayNaps says:

    hey doctor Jo, can you make a video about leg limb discrepancy/short leg syndrome and how to deal with it?

  8. mikael sandberg says:

    After a fall 2 years ago (forward landing on my elbows) I have some shoulder pain.
    But also some problem with the collar bone both at both sides..
    Nothing broken. Any idea what exercises I could do to losen it up ?

  9. Danielle Patel says:

    Can you make a video with more exercises that involve the band? I have shoulder bursitis and the orthopedist gave me the band to use but no real instruction!

  10. Jenny Cadwallader says:

    Hi Dr. Jo,
    can you make a video on wrist bursitis? I am a rather active person, i love Pilates and yoga but my wrist bursitis limits 50% of the moves in my workouts. Also, should I tape my wrist for workouts that involve applying pressure on wrists?

  11. Chuck Barker says:

    I have been told I have shoulder bursitis in my left shoulder this week. I was told by doctor no physical activity for a week and started me on anti-inflammatory for next 5 days along with ice. So do I need to wait that time before trying these stretches? Just afraid of causing more inflammation.

  12. Gina Kelly says:

    Do you know anything about shoulder injury and swimming? Had pain a while ago dr said possible rotator cuff tear…never had mri not sure but feels ok now flares up with swimming. I changed my swimming to breaststroke and want to know if I can ever swim normally again…or my technique might have caused it? Please let me know if you know anything about this thanks

  13. Gina Kelly says:

    Thanks I just had phys therapy for wrist injury but they can't treat shoulder without script. It's really not bothering me now like I said I need swim advice. If anyone does please let me know.

  14. Casimira Ganding says:

    Dr.Jo, where can I buy the pink like noodle and that band that stretches? I have bursitis since December last year, the doctor prescribed me pills but irritated my stomach and stopped completely, as painful as it I take aleve only and no exercises until I came across on utube ,your brief exercise..thank you for your insight…

  15. juicedaman says:

    Hello Dr., I was tild by my Dr. I have Bursitis. My main symptom is some stiffness when I wake up in the morning. The Dr. asked if I wanted to go to therapy or a cortisone shot. I decided to take the shot. If things don't improve in 6 weeks he wants me to do an MRI. He don't want me to do any exercise, do you think he means for the six weeks? can I do these exercises mean while? and from what I described does it sound like bursitis?

  16. Dave Regan says:

    Hi Jo I have bursitis in both shoulders mainly from lifting weights and have had for approx 18 months. I do not want to get the injections I was prescribed and decided to modify or remove particular weight lifting moves. The bursitis was ok for a few months and has come back, I will now try your stretches you recommend (thanks) but I have been told if I don't get professional physiotherapy I may permanently injure my shoulders to the point I may not be able to use them. Is this fact or fiction?

  17. Tune Kahuna says:

    Could you help me with your email ID

  18. sandy right says:

    Dr. Jo, can you suggest exercises to help elbow bursitis, in case you already have can you post the link please, Appreciate it, thanks

  19. Arlene Jacobson says:

    these are great! thanks!

  20. ROB NAVAEI says:

    Dr. Jo, I have Bursitis at the bottom of my left scapula bone. shots have not had any long term affect on the pain. In your opinion, is surgery the next option?
    Pain pills help for 24 hours and then the pain comes back. Any suggestions ?

  21. ROB NAVAEI says:

    Thanks for the reply, no I have not, do you think physical therapy may help ?

  22. immanuel withus says:

    honey, I LOVE YOU. This helped me a lot.

  23. digvijay jatkar says:

    hey. ur exercises has helped me a lot. the pain has reduced but not permenantly. what to do?
    from india.

  24. Zain Fadhil says:

    nice. how long would it take to heal the bursitis?. i have it on both sides but left is more painful

  25. mark jeffels says:

    Thank you for the tips beautiful!!!

  26. Deborah Knisely says:

    Going to try these now… Just had a shot.. one day ago. Pain seems worse.. which Dr. said it might.. but I am so done with this pain…. Thanks for the tips.

  27. Ce Kempf says:

    I have pain at the point in the front of my shoulder commonly associated with subspanatus bursitis ( i may have spelled that wrong) using KT tape in the manor to support this area does give me relief. I've been through Physical Therapy and recently had an MRI with normal results. I really feel the pain while holding items in front of my self like when you cradle a baby. I also feel tension down into my bicep in this position. PT said my trap is really tight and so is my subscapularus. When I reach behind myself the dr has her hand on the top of my shoulder and you can feel a non smooth motion of the shoulder as I reach to my lower back. Any suggestions on where to go with this next?

  28. Andrew Hiralall says:

    Thanks Dr. Jo your videos have helped me out tremendously with brainstorming treatment ideas for my patients.

  29. Nithin Uppalapati says:

    Is cold or hot pack good for inflammation. Because I have mixed sayings from my doctors. so confused

  30. Diane Clerkin says:

    thank you for helping my shoulder feel better

  31. Captain Coconut says:

    How often should you do these ? Every day, Every other day ?

  32. H Pier says:

    I just found you and I already love you! 🙂 Thank you for this amazing video, I can't wait to check out all of your other videos. I have pain everywhere! 🙁

  33. Francisco Cunha says:

    Your videos are awesome, thanks for your work! It helped me relieve my neck pains in 3 days! Problem is now my shoulders hurt due to excessive workout (both!) Do you recommend this particular video for help? (the pain is bearable, I can sleep on my side and workout the same). Best regards!

  34. trudi weisman says:

    Can I sit on a chair instead of sitting on the mat — it's uncomfortable for me?

  35. Jim Smillie says:

    struggling with shoulder pain. i have had an mri and no tear they say bursitis went to pt and well they just dont care they heard you in like cattle and waste your time. will give your exercises a try and hope i can get back to normal.

  36. تعلم الانجليزية مع خالد says:

    dr. i have bursitis in the front of my left shoulder .. can i do thses exercises now or i have to rest for a couple of weeks before i doing them ?

  37. Deb 1 says:

    how long should i take rest from working out with weights?
    my brusitis catches up after 3 to 4 weeks of going to gym.did mri and found out no tears they only said there is fluid buildup in shoulder.does it mean brusitis?

  38. Sanjay Akotkar says:


  39. Gayatri Desai says:

    Doc. I have subacromial sub deltoid bursa effusion,frozen shoulder.heavy pain in upper arm.When doing physio . can't move left hand back.lots of pain makes me crying . already having cervical since 25 years,doing job in c5 c6 herniation effects on left right arm is not doing fine works, iam me perticular exercise for my problem. I am 62.l ilke your videos.very useful.

  40. Bill says:

    How frequently should you do these exercises? I also have tingling /numbness in my thumb and index finger. Pinched nerve maybe?

  41. Gayatri Desai says:

    Thanks for the reply. This video is in my play list. But I can't move my hand as per video keeping aside, .having pain. I do physio . from the last months.I continue the same?

  42. Gayatri Desai says:

    I used to go clinic& by waching video, do at home. As per sonography I know the causeSo I try to get recover as usual. Doc.says it will be take the time,may be 6-or 12 months. .Give advice. God bless you.

  43. william milliron says:

    Awesome channel. Unfortunately I found it because of shoulder pain. Doc gave me a sheet of stretches and said come back if not better in 4 months.

    Do you recommend heat or ice after stretching? Or neither? What about a liniment such as Veterinary Absorbine? That stuff feels great.

  44. Pat S says:

    Are shoulder bursitis, impingement and rotator cuff pain treated with pretty much the same physical therapy exercises?

  45. Mary M says:

    Is it possible to do rows with the band, or is that too much?

  46. Khilna Mamlani says:

    hello Dr Jo, have been suffering from shoulder bursitis for now almost a year, sometimes making it difficult to lift even the lightest of the objects. will these exercises prescribed above, help me restore to my original self? The pains have made if difficult me to perform simplest of jobs and also in turn having a toll on my health and job. How many times in a day should i be doing these exercises? something tells me these exercises are going to work for me. How long will i have to do them to feel normal again. I have been consuming so many pain killers as well to continue with my daily routine life.

  47. Bt Jans says:


  48. jeddito cornplanter says:

    Im 5'10" & 187lbs work in construction lifting objects easily over 50 lbs throughout the day. My left front delt gets tender and burns the next day after a very hard day. I had MRI and was told it isn't a cuff tear. What can I do to treat or strengthen it?

  49. jeddito cornplanter says:

    The pain is when I raise anything in front of me, feel it in my front shoulder and when it's really bad under the back of my shoulder blade too

  50. Nick Riggio says:

    another great video from Dr. Jo

  51. J N says:

    Thanks for the tips. We sure take our shoulders for granted. I injured mine swimming last summer.

  52. tjradmila says:

    It really helped, thanks

  53. pablito1904 says:

    Dear Doctor, i know you can't assess me online, but my question is how to find the "right "way in rehabing shoulder's bursitis between on the one hand total rest that could be counterproductive and on the other hand rehabing actively at the risk of flaring up my bursitis ?
    I ask you this question because I have the feeling it is very challenging to find the good "cursor".
    I thank you by advance for your thoughts

  54. Aashish Maharjan says:

    Can Shock wave therapy heals the scapular winging and bursitis in shoulder and make shoulder strong?

  55. Aashish Maharjan says:

    Can shoulder bursitis effects the wrist of hand like heavy wrist and heavy shoulder and problem in writing with hand.?

  56. Aashish Maharjan says:

    Can labral tear shoulder
    effects the wrist of hand like heavy wrist and heavy shoulder and problem in writing with hand.?

  57. Aashish Maharjan says:

    can weak ribs and and weak scapula effects the wrist of hand like heavy wrist and heavy shoulder and problem in writing with hand.?

  58. Aashish Maharjan says:

    is there any treatment that regenerate bursae (fluid) between shoulder joint?

  59. Avrum Nadigel says:

    Hi Dr. Jo. Last year, dx w/ shoulder impingement. Saw physio, limited gains, and pain went away on it's own. Pain came back a month ago, been seeing physio weekly. However the stretches seemed to aggravate the bursa… it's a vicious circle. If I don't do the exercises, I could develop frozen shoulder (which I had in 2009… for TWO years!!), but if I do the physio program, bursa is constantly inflamed. Anyway, physio suggested laying off the stretching and we'll reconvene early next week. However, for the next few days, is your program suitable even if Bursa is agitated? Thanks so much, really enjoy how you present your material.

  60. Judi Ann Carlsson says:

    Dr. Jo – I got bursitis after a pneumonia injection so I will be spending lots of time with your videos. I can do the beginning exercises except for the 45 degree arm lifts. Can only get my arms into position.
    Thank you for posting the exercises. It gives me hope that after I get through the initial phase, I can build up strength in my shoulder.
    ER checked if any of the needle was left in my arm. That's okay.
    Also, I've eaten dill pickles every day since I got introduced to them.

  61. Joanne Lyons says:

    Hi Dr Jo these are great, how often should these be done?

  62. Flora Gadson says:

    Dr Jo, I have bursitis in my right shoulder and I’m doing your exercises for the first time. My question is, how often should I do these exercises, i.e, (every morning), and how much time in between should I wait before doing another set? Thank you.

  63. Anna Dunea says:

    Hi Dr. Jo! I feel a pain on the posterior side right besides the shoulder blade. The doctor said after the MRI that is bursitis, but I had physio and the pain still there. What can I do?

  64. Amit Panchal says:

    Great mam nice explaination

  65. Buy Cool Shirts says:

    Dr Jo is the most famous physical therapist on the internet (in my opinion, of course 🙂 )

  66. Grinning Guise says:

    This gal is fierce.

  67. annie60901 says:

    How can you determine if it's bursitis or rotator cuff issues?

  68. Kamal Sharma Sharma says:

    Hello… I have shoulder problem plz help me…how can i show u my MRI report

  69. Ok Ma Name Bread says:

    I’ve been working out for about a year straight and I developed bursitis in my left shoulder. I saw you said 1-2 times a day and it could take 8-12 weeks depending on how serious it is. What exercises should I avoid if any while doing this? Pull ups, bench press…

  70. Art Nunez says:

    Hi doctor,I’m 2 months out from full slap repair on my left shoulder with 1 anchor and every time I lift my arm and do exercises my shoulder grinds all the time..I also have an inflamed bursa and my doc and PT therapist both said the grinding and bursa pain will go away just give it time but it hurts more and more with this normal?thank you I love your videos

  71. AskDoctorJo says:

    Buy a printable worksheet with the Shoulder Bursitis Exercises & Stretches in this video here:
    ⭐⭐ Leaving a Question or Comment? ⭐⭐
    If you want me to reply, make sure you hit the 🔴 SUBSCRIBE 🔴 button above first (if you haven’t already) because I always respond to my subscribers!

  72. Carolina Cowboys says:

    Good video, thank you

  73. Andrew Smith says:

    Whats the dill with the dill?

  74. Chris Wolfe says:

    HI Dr. Jo. How often should I do these exercises? Once to twice a day? More? Thanks for posting this video! I'm having a small flair up and I want to deal with it responsibly before it turns into an ER visit and a steroid shot. Those shots are horrible. 🙁

  75. Mr Gib says:

    Why did God make Bursitis? What an evil injury.

  76. Karima Foustok says:

    Thank you so much this really helped 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *